Sectional Titles

2006 Sectional Titles Amendment Bill


The Sectional Titles Amendment Bill, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as ''the Bill''), proposes certain amendments to the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act No. 95 of 1986) (hereinafter referred to as ''the Act'').
2.1 Clause 1 of the Bill proposes certain consequential amendments to the definitions of ''Chief Surveyor-General'' and ''Surveyor-General'' pursuant to the repeal of the Land Survey Act, 1927 (Act No. 9 of 1927), in order to reflect the correct statutory position. It also proposes an amendment to the definition of ''sectional mortgage bond''. Exclusive use areas are part of the common property set aside for the exclusive use by owners of sections in a sectional title scheme. Despite the connection between the exclusive use areas and the relevant sections, the Act does not provide for the registration of sectional mortgage bonds over exclusive use areas. The proposed amendment seeks to extend the registration of sectional mortgage bonds to exclusive use areas and undivided shares in exclusive use areas. It also seeks to harmonise the periods between registered and unregistered leases or subleases and eliminates the perception that a short-term lease is receptive to the registration of a sectional mortgage bond.
2.2 Section 15B(5) of the Act grants to the joint owner of a unit the right to apply to the registrar of deeds for a certificate of registered sectional title in respect of such owner's undivided share in the unit. In view of the connection between exclusive use areas and their relevant units, clause 2 of the Bill proposes that this right also be extended to the joint holder of a right to an exclusive use area or a right referred to in section 25(1) of the Act. Section 25(1) entitles a developer to reserve the right in a sectional plan to erect, for his personal account, a further building or buildings, a horizontal extension of an existing building or a vertical extension of an existing building on a specified part of the common property. The developer has the right to divide the building or buildings into a section or sections and common property and to confer the right of exclusive use over parts of the common property upon the owner or owners of the sections. It is also proposed that joint owners may apply either for a registered sectional title or a certificate of real right.
2.3.1 Section 26(1) of the Act empowers the body corporate to purchase land to extend the common property but does not provide for the acquisition of land in any other manner. Clause 3(a) of the Bill seeks to empower the body corporate to also acquire land otherwise, for example, by donation, exchange or bequest. Land acquired by the body corporate must be registered in the name of the body corporate.
2.3.2 The proposal in clause 3(b) of the Bill for the amendment of section 26(2) of the Act, is a consequential amendment pursuant to the proposed amendment of section 26(1).
2.4 When the Act was passed by Parliament in 1986, the definition of ''owner'' provided, inter alia, that the ''owner'' was the person (including the State) by whom the unit was held under a lease registered in a deeds registry for a period of ninety-nine years or longer. The definition has since been amended on various occasions but, unfortunately, the proviso to section 36(2) has not been amended accordingly. The existing definition of ''owner'' does not provide for ownership by way of a lease and the proviso which still refers to a lease of a unit contemplated by paragraph (b) of the original definition of ''owner'', has thus become obsolete. The proposal in clause 4 of the Bill seeks to rectify the situation by deleting the proviso to section 36(2) of the Act. 2.5 The Act contains references to the Land Survey Act, 1927 (Act No. 9 of 1927), which was repealed by the Land Survey Act, 1997 (Act No. 8 of 1997). The proposal in clause 5 of the Bill seeks to reflect the correct statutory position.

Link to the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill 2006

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